This article has exclusively explored the adversities that are faced by the pharmaceutical industries in the world today. These destitutions vary from political, ethical to legal dilemmas. Putting up a pharmaceutical industry is not only very costly but also time consuming. In the world, there are only about ten firms, with five in Europe and five in USA. Despite the fact that pharmaceutical industries are hard to put up, the industry has over the years been confronted with many challenges.
First, the industry has faced high cost in the research and development of drugs. They engage in intensive, large-scale and drugs that help people with all kinds of illnesses. But this does not come by easily. It is said that bringing a new pharmaceutical industry will take 12 to 15 years. In addition, this will cost more than $800 million in research and development. Secondly, the industry has limited protection when it comes to intellectual property. Despite the fact that governments try to grant other types of protection, this is still not enough more in developing countries. The third challenge that faces the pharmaceutical industry is the challenge from generic brands. According to WTO rule and regulations, a drug inventor should be at least protected for 20 years. However, when you factor in time for testing and approval, this translates to 12 years only. After this time, the patent is considered to be expires, and generic manufactures can now start producing medication that was invented by another pharmaceutical industry. These are just but a few challenges that pharmaceutical industries face all over the world. Other challenges include neglect therapeutic areas, and counterfeit drugs.
If nothing is likely to change I future, pharmaceutical industries will always remain with few incentives to invent new drugs. In addition, those consumers in developing, poor countries will continue lacking the essential drugs they need, but cannot afford.
Marcia Angell: The truth about the drug companies. Random House, New York, 2004, 305.